The Locust Valley High School Hall of Fame Class of 2017 includes a group of former Falcons that still value the effect Locust Valley athletics has had on their lives. During the induction ceremony in the high school gymnasium on Sept. 23, the inductees thanked the committee for selecting them and acknowledged the bonds they had with their teammates, coaches and the entire community because of their participation in athletics. 

Bill Daniello, Class of 1961; Alexandra Bliss, Class of 1999; Kim Brennan, Class of 2007; the 1977 baseball team; Coach Doug Axman and Coach Nickie Demos make up the Hall of Fame Class of 2017. 

Daniello was a three-sport high school athlete as a member of the Falcon’s first football, basketball and golf teams. He helped lead his football team to an amazing 7-1 season, and it was then that he earned his nickname “The Bull.” After high school, Daniello enlisted in the United States Army and as a walk-on made the Fort Benning, Georgia, football team. He started as an offensive lineman, and as the youngest member of the historic 1962 Fort Benning Doughboys U.S. Army National Championship football team, Billy became part of history. It was during that 1962 season that a record was put on the board that had never existed before nor has been challenged since: an undefeated season and “All-Service Champions.” 

Bliss, who could not attend the ceremony and sent a video, was one of Locust Valley High School’s most gifted track and field athletes. She competed in many events for the Falcons, including the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4x400m, 1,600m and 3,200m relays. Her breakout year was the spring of her sophomore season when she took first place in both the 200m and 400m run, earned All-County in both, placed third in the 400m and earned All-State recognition in the New York State Track and Field Championships. Bliss continues her track and field career at the University of Pennsylvania. Bliss holds the school record in the 200m and 400m events while sharing the record in the100m run. 

Brennan also sent a video expressing her appreciation for this honor. She is one of 21 female basketball players to achieve the milestone of scoring over 2,000 career points. She was an impressive force starting on the Locust Valley basketball team as a seventh-grader. As a varsity player, Brennan earned every honor possible, averaging 23 points, six rebounds and five assists while leading Locust Valley to the Nassau County Class B championship. She took her drive and talent to Bentley University, where her success continued. As a freshman, she earned the honor of being selected NE-10 Freshman Player of the Year. As a senior, she was team captain and was named Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA DII East Regional Championships, Bentley’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year and Team MVP. She earned Honorable Mention All-America recognition from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Nickie Demos taught physical education at Locust Valley Junior-Senior High School from 1969-2001. She coached track for 36 years and for the past five years has coached as a volunteer. In addition to track, Nickie coached junior high and varsity gymnastics for 15 years, cheerleading for 15 years and varsity volleyball for 28 years. Nickie had a career record of 270 wins and 133 losses for a 67 percent winning record. Her athletes attained 260 All-Conference winners, 127 All-County winners (52 first-place recipients), 52 state competitors, 12 All-State, six undefeated seasons and two All-County teams. Her coaching honors include 2002-2003 New York State Track and Field Coach of the Year, 1999-2000 Nassau County Coach of the Year by Nassau County officials, 1995 Crown Trophy Award – Women in Sports on Long Island, and 2000-2001 Locust Valley “Falcon Pride” Community Award.

Doug Axman has had a long and distinguished wrestling career. He wrestled at Whitman High School, at Farmingdale Junior College and at SUNY Brockport. He joined Locust Valley in 1973 after serving as the assistant wrestling coach at Plainview High School. With his assistance, the LV wrestling program achieved great success: two Section 8 championships, two Section 8 runner-up finishes, one New York State championship, two New York State runner-up finishes, one Section 8 Dual Meet championship, one NSAL championship and 12 League/Conference championships. Under his guidance, the wrestling program produced championship teams and over 100 individual champions. Some of his achievements as head coach for Locust Valley (1988 -2006) were Nassau County team runner-ups, League/Conference team championships, and Dual Meet team conference championships. Axman coached five individual New York State place winners, 17 individual Nassau County champions and 30 individual Nassau County place winners.

The 1977 varsity baseball team is considered one of the best baseball teams in the program’s history. The team’s coach, Clarke Grey, said it was the “best team I ever coached.” He was assisted by Coach Russ Tietjen. The Falcons began the season with 15-0 and ranked No. 1 on Long Island, finishing the regular season with a record of 18-3 and first place in Conference IV. To secure the conference title, the Falcons had an extremely challenging schedule, playing against schools that were much larger in enrollment than Locust Valley: Bethpage, Clarke High School, Farmingdale, Plainedge, and Plainview. The Falcons secured and captured the North Shore championship, which was the first ever for LVHS, allowing them to advance to the overall Nassau County championship against the South Shore champions, Berner High School. In the Nassau County championship, Locust Valley lost two games to none. The final record of that memorable year was 25-6. Members of the 1977 baseball team were: Glenn Burroughs, Pete Coviello, Kevin Dawson, Augie Garrett, Doug Goerke, Tom Kahn, Ray Maldonado, Rob McGrorty, Dan Oill, Dan Oliva, Bob Plumb, John Serio, John Stanisci, Rich Sumcizk, Gary Valeo, Greg Valeo, Jim Walsh and Jordan Winter.